During the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling disaster, BP ran feel-good ads trying to shine-up its image while oil was still spewing into the gulf. The campaign will go down in marketing history as a disastrous failure.
Consumers are far too wise to be swayed by false claims of brand sensitivity.
Now, in what appears to be a similar strategy, Bank of America--currently one of the poster-children for corporate greed and under-handed tactics that hurt consumers while lining corporate pockets, has launched an advertising campaign highlighting the bank's charitable donations and small business loans, as well as its efforts to ease loan terms for underwater mortgage borrowers, known as "loan modifications."
So, just as BofA is under fire for everything from improper foreclosures to hiking debit card fees, the bank is running TV, print and online ads through the end of the year in 12 larger markets, including Charlotte, Boston, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, touting their supposed good deeds, rather than addressing the behaviors that consumers see as demonstrating corporate greed.
Clearly, the voices of Occupy Wall Street have not reached the offices of Bank of America, or their advertising agency.
The ads are "irrelevant," said Kathleen Day, spokeswoman for the Center for Responsible Lending, a Durham, North Carolina-based nonprofit that advocates for homeowners. "The only thing that matters is that they and other banks clean up their servicing operations so they can do more loan modifications and never do the same thing to the economy again."
In the first half of this year, Bank of America spent $1.1 billion on marketing. Perhaps they need to spend more time, and money, on a marketing strategy which will more accurately reflect an authentic, and believable image of the BofA brand.